Imagine your friends as kernels of corn. An unusual analogy perhaps, but bear with me, the point is lingering in the warming pan.
It may seem like an age waiting for the first pop, but once a few have gone, the rest follow like gunfire. Of course, a handful of headstrong, indifferent, even anti, heads of corn will refuse to turn white and fluffy no matter how high the heat is turned. But most of us pop away gleefully.
Now, seeing as we're not round, white and jagged-round-the-edges (most of the time anyway) I'll step away from the snacks and get back to what are more commonly known as The Wedding Years (TWY).
I, for one, was happily meandering through the early stages of TWY, enjoying the idea of parties after parties, seeing people I hadn't seen for years, planning long weekends around weddings in far-flung corners... When suddenly I found myself planning my own pending nuptials.
It all took me quite unawares, coming straight out of the blue, quite fittingly half way down a blue run.
We were in Gstaad - Tom and I both love skiing, we try to fit in some time on the slopes each season, often nipping off for a long weekend just the two of us.
We've been together for six years (we met at Durham University - more on this to come in later entries) so we've had time enough for a few trips. We've done both the rather random, like Slovenia and Andorra; and the seriously swish, like Courchevel and Gstaad.
Everyone knows that Gstaad's all about lunching and looking the part (check out Oliver Preston's cartoons and you'll get the idea). Anyway, this suited us to a tee. We had the slopes to ourselves and spent the days swish swishing to our heart's content.
Our last afternoon came around, as ever, too quickly, and we got out early to make the most of the fresh slopes. Just before lunch, Tom stopped half way down a blue run to take some snaps. He snapped the mountain huts, he snapped the snow-capped trees, the rolling white slopes, and then he snapped me wrapped up to the nines, fur-rimmed (when in Gstaad) hood pulled up, snood around my nose and goggles firmly in place.
Returning his camera to his jacket pocket, he said "I've got something else in here…"
Chocolates? Mints? These, obviously, were the first things that came to mind. Instead, a red box emerged. Chocolate in a ring box? I tell you, when you're not expecting something (and may just be a wee bit peckish) the most abnormal things seem rational. After all, what could be more crazy than a proposal?
I should probably mention here that Tom and I had never talked about marriage. Not once. Not in six whole years. There's a whole load of other things to talk about, I find.
Sliding back one ski, Tom lowered a salopette-clad knee, opened the red box and said: 'Will you marry me?"
The rest, as they say, is history. And now I find myself full throttle ahead planning our wedding. It will be in August in the Scottish Borders where I grew up.
The thing is, we happen to have just moved to Santiago. Yes Chile, not Spain. Tom has taken a job here and the idea is I can "journalise" from anywhere.
Different continent, different hemisphere, different side of the pond. So, ahem, let the wedding plans commence...